You might not think there’s time to even sleep, so why even think about starting a hobby? But, for every parent out there, we need an outlet of sorts. The fact is when we are slumped on the couch, idly scrolling through social media, in front of the television, is this really a good way to live our lives? We know deep down that it’s a waste of time, and now, when you look back at all of your Facebook memories, were they worth your time in any way? It’s unlikely. But when you’re a busy parent, but you still need to find that extra bit of meaning to life, this is where a good hobby comes in. And yes, we all believe that we don’t have time to breathe, but here is why a good hobby needs to be, not just a part of your parenting life, but one of the key components of your life in general.
- It is fantastic for your frame of mind. Being a parent is incredibly stressful, but if we dwell on these emotions, they can very easily overwhelm us and spill over into other parts of our life. A hobby gives us an opportunity to take a step away from our stresses and focus on something completely different. In many ways, a hobby isn’t just a way to pursue a passion; it’s a handy distraction from the rigors of life. When you are feeling stressed, does social media provide that relaxing outlet? We know, scientifically speaking, that dopamine hit we get isn’t good for us in the long run.
- It adds an extra layer to your life. Let’s face it, when we are waking up, catering to a child’s every need, going to work, coming home, catering to our child’s whims again, and then going to sleep, this makes this a pretty boring individual. We don’t realize it, but everyone else does! And this is one of the best reasons to indulge in a good hobby. Because, when you end up socializing with a friend and you’ve got nothing to talk about, it can be pretty depressing, for them and for you! So think about hobbies that you enjoy, but may also provide fantastic talking points. If you are a sports lover, sites like Sports Memorabilia with Matt Powers can provide you with numerous talking points. And, not to mention the fact that it could prove to be a very lucrative way to add some meaning to your life, especially if you build up a collection that you need to sell on later in life.
- It can be incredibly sociable (if you want it to be). It depends on the hobby that you want to pursue, but you don’t necessarily have to pick something that needs to be done by yourself. Instead, you could go for some form of solitary pursuit that you can do with others if you wanted to. Fishing is one of those great examples, and as a parent, maybe you’ve considered the idea of relaxing on a boat in the middle of an empty lake with your child and seeing them catch their first fish. The fact is, picking a good hobby isn’t just a great way for you to be sociable with other people, but it’s a great way for you to improve your skills as a parent, namely by spending more time with your child. But there are other hobbies that can make you feel like one of the guys, fantasy baseball leagues and similar pursuits can provide that outlet you so desperately need when you’ve been knee-deep in diapers day in and day out for months on end!
- It’s a wonderful way to practice flow. Something that isn’t normally discussed when it comes to hobbies is the fact that doing something we love helps us to practice what is called the flow state. When we are looking for ways to relax, we tend to go for surfing the internet or watching television. These are very passive activities, and this isn’t engaging our brain in the right way. By picking a hobby that we love and have an extreme focus on, it helps us in other areas of our life. By practicing this flow state, it’s been shown to have a positive impact on our immune systems, but also encourage concentration and focus. So when we pick a hobby that we have an active interest in, time goes by quicker, and it is immensely enjoyable. Not only is a hobby a fantastic thing for our frame of mind, but it’s good for us. When we’re busy parents, and we tend to neglect our needs for the sake of our children, we can feel ourselves getting stupider. It’s not our kids’ fault, it’s our fault because we’re not choosing to focus on our passions in life. By taking that opportunity to do something we love, we end up naturally practicing this flow state. This has a positive impact in other areas of our life, and it will make us better parents.
As parents, we can feel a lot of fulfillment in seeing our children grow, but when we are overwhelmed with daddy duties, depression can rear its head. This is nothing new, and this is why it’s important for us to take the time to indulge in our own hobbies and interests. Even if it’s late at night, 30 minutes of reading a book that we love could do so much more for us than being sat in a negative frame of mind. Even if it’s playing a video game, watching a movie you love, or just going for a walk, something that you really enjoy will rejuvenate you in so many different ways, and you will still get a good night’s sleep! But we don’t dedicate enough time in our lives to following the things that we really care about, and instead, focus on the things we have to do. So, take the opportunity to focus on these things, but also make the time to do something that you want to do. It’s going to make you a better parent, and you will appreciate life that much more.
Note: this post contains contributed content.